In conversation with friends, you like to be polite. You want your customers, co-workers, and boss to recognize that you’re totally involved when you’re at work. With family, you may find it easier to just tune out the conversation and ask the person near you to repeat what you missed, just a bit louder, please.
On zoom calls you lean in closer. You pay attention to body language and facial cues and listen for verbal inflections. You try to read people’s lips. And if everything else fails – you fake it.
Maybe your in denial. Your straining to catch up because you missed most of the conversation. You may not know it, but years of cumulative hearing loss can have you feeling isolated and frustrated, making projects at work and life at home unnecessarily overwhelming.
The ability for a person to hear is impacted by situational factors including background sound, competing signals, room acoustics, and how familiar they are with their setting, according to studies. These factors are always in play, but it can be far worse for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
Here are some behaviors to help you determine whether you are, in truth, fooling yourself into thinking hearing loss is not impacting your professional and social relationships, or whether it’s just the acoustics in their environment:
- Feeling like people are mumbling and not speaking clearly
- Finding it more difficult to hear over the phone
- Not able to hear people talking from behind you
- Cupping your hands over your ear or leaning in close to the person talking without realizing it
- Asking others what was said after pretending to hear what someone was saying
- Requesting that people repeat themselves again and again… and again
Hearing loss probably didn’t take place overnight even though it may feel as if it did. The majority of people wait 7 years on average before acknowledging the issue and seeking help.
So if you’re noticing symptoms of hearing loss, you can be sure that it’s been occurring for some time unnoticed. So start by making an appointment right away, and stop kidding yourself, hearing loss is no joke.